More Than 50 Per Cent of the Mazagon Procured Materials Originally Supplied by DCNS Have Been Successfully Subcontracted by DCNS India to Indian Industries
Managing Director, DCNS India, Bernard Buisson
Bernard Buisson DCNS India Pvt Ltd has been in operation for last few years now. How useful has it been to create an Indian entity?
DCNS is committed to long-term partnerships and close collaboration with the Indian Navy and local shipbuilding industry. It is for this reason that the group set up DCNS India Private Limited, a subsidiary specialising in naval services, in March 2009. The main raison d’etre of DCNS India is to enlarge the foot print of DCNS in India by creating a defence ecosystem to cluster a large number of Indian industries allowing DCNS to achieve its commitments in terms of indigenisation and therefore be in line with the self-reliance policy of the Indian government.

As a proof, since the beginning of the P-75 programme, DCNS has been working at the selection and qualification of Indian companies as partners for local production of equipment for the Scorpene. This is accomplished by DCNS India, through the P-75 indigenisation programme. In this framework, DCNS is providing our Indian partners with knowhow through true ToTs which includes production drawings, manufacturing and quality process, on job training (OJT), technical assistance to manufacture equipment locally. So far, we have signed partnerships with four Indian companies and we are also in discussion with others.

Setting up of DCNS India is part of our willingness to support our esteemed customers: Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guards, Indian naval shipyards and industries, to develop local services with Indian talents and to extend sourcing opportunities for both local and international needs.

The Scorpene programme has been marred by a lot of controversies and criticism because of delays and price rise. From DCNS’ perspective, what have been the lessons learnt? In your experience now with the Indian shipyards, both in the public and the private sector, what do you think are their strengths and limitations?
The reasons for the initial teething problems of the P-75 project, though normal, have been overcome and the P-75 submarines are now being constructed as per schedule.

The reasons for the initial delays are threefold: First, MDL had stopped manufacturing submarines for over a decade. Any shipyard confronted with such inactivity in this complex industrial field would lose its expertise and skilled workforce. The second reason is that no on job training at the OEM’s facilities was possible since all six submarines are being built in India. Usually, the first one or two first submarines for such large programmes are made in the OEM’s facilities to allow absorption of the building process through OJT for the customer shipyard. The third reason has been some material package procurement difficulties. Some small size European suppliers of specific material were not used to MDL’s complex and comprehensive procurement policies and were not able to respond to some RFPs.

DCNS has been abiding strictly to all the terms and conditions of the contract since the beginning. No request for any increase in contracted prices has been done.

We believe private public partnerships (PPP) could be an efficient way to synergise the comparatives advantages of the public and private shipyards by combining the skills and experience of the public sector with the more flexible procurement and management policies of the private sector.

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